[Old Firm] Imagic


Back in the roaring days, when the atari 2600 was almost the state of the art in fact of gaming, a troop of designers decided to start to create their own games, upsetting a lot Atati itself: companies like Activision was born in these years and showed other the road to take.

While Activision is still active, some of the company established in early 80s, suffered from 1983 crisis and they didn’t make it. One of this was Imagic, founded in 1981 by expatriates from Atai and Mattel. The passion that led a fistful of programmers in this new and unknown venture was evident in the person of Bill Grubb who declined a job as a vice president of marketing fro atari to go and fount Imagic.

The company was the second indipendendt game company ever established after the well-known Activision and its life cas be resumed with an image, a sudden burst of flame, a summer storm, like easy come, easy go.

The story of the company was covered in one of last year Retro Gamer issues which I found incredibly interesting.

Despite the foundation was in 1982, Imagin began to develop games only in 1982 during which they released 7 games for Atari and 5 for Intellivision, the two most important consoled back then; only in 1983 they moved the production also on Colecovision and Odyssey² for which they released the only 2 third-party games, the ports of Dragon Attack and Atlantis.

The rise of Imagic was amazing and unexpected and the company soon decided to launch an IPO to expand their capitalization, trusting the marked would somehow reward them. Unfortunately their move was late: the video games market in north america was collapsing and Imagc decided to retire their IPO at last time.

The company was shocked by the dimension of the crash and they had to lay off a big part of their employees by the end of 1983. They were still active but they were also virtually a dead company. They keptthemselves alive for a handful of years before they went out of business in 1986.

However Imagic mark on video game industry was all but irrelevant, since they produced some of the best games ever lereased for Atari 2600. They’re also remembered for the refinement with which they boxed their games: the silver cases with an horizontal rainbow were immediately recognizable among the gamers.

This is a list of the games they developed during the 80s:

  • Atlantis

  • Cosmic Ark

  • Demon Attack

  • Dracula
  • Dragonfire

  • Fire Fighter
  • Beauty & the Beast
  • Microsurgeon
Microsurgeon: one of the strangest pseudo educational game ever…
  • Riddle of the Sphinx

  • Swords & Serpents
  • Star Voyager

  • Trick Shot
  • Fathom
  • Laser Gates
  • Moonsweeper
  • No Escape!
  • Nova Blast
  • Quick Step
  • Safecracker
  • Truckin’
  • White Water!
  • Chopper Hunt
  • Tournament Tennis
  • Wing War

Among them one of my favourite is for sure Dragonfire, a game I’ve recently purchased a great adventure with some platformer elements.

What’s your thoughts about them? Have you ever played their games?

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. I remember the article and how their boxes had a unique look. Even though I played games at that point in time I couldn’t go back now way to hard.
    I will say micro surgeon looks quite fearsome!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t heard of these guys, but Microsurgeon looks like the stuff of nightmares.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Yep, more or less…I don’t know whos’ the evil mind behind that game…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rob Wantz says:

    Man, I loved Dragonfire. I would play that for hours on my Colecovision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Unfortunately I’ve played only the Atari version but when I will get c Colecovision I will try it for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. hungrygoriya says:

    One of the games I found recently for Atari (Dragon Treasure by Zellers) was a remake/bootleg of Dragonfire! Someone on Twitter kindly pointed that out to me. I like it a lot, though I die a ton. We’ve also got a copy of Demon Attack hanging around here somewhere.

    I defnitely want to play Microsurgeon!!! That looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      I hope to find it soon in good condiion. I’ve seen somewhere a lo wih all their games boxed. That should have been a great gift…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Microsurgeon is the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen! Never heard of that game until now, but it would’ve traumatized me and given me nightmares as a child lol. I loved Dragonfire, as I believe I’ve expressed before 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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